Type of photo that fails on a dating app 💥💥

Like much of Australia, I’m stuck at home during lockdown and I’ve started doing things I would never do, just to shake up my routine a little.

So I’ve made a Spotify song list for every occasion, reorganised my bedroom, learnt how to cook a semi-delicious Moroccan chicken dish and coloured my hair a pastel pink. I even decided to take a deep scroll into the ‘other’ direct message folder on my Instagram.

Oh, what treasures it divulged! There was the single dad who sent me a giant essay on all the reasons I’m single. Long story, short, it turns out it’s because I am in my 30s and no smart man wants a woman in her 30s.

Then there was the guy from a small town in Africa who offered to marry me and let me bear his children. Oh shucks.

And of course, the standard five d*ck pics. Geez you write one article about the guy from Sex/Life’s old fella, and every bloke from here to China wants to show you theirs. Seriously, stop. So gross.

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However, I digress … it was somewhere along this deep dive that I came across a guy with a genuine query. He was having no luck on the ol’ dating apps and asked if he could screenshot his profile and send it to me for my honest opinion.

Well, I’ll be honest, having just opened far too many creepy d*ck pics, I’d made myself a stiff Martini in a bid to erase those visions from my mind and decided, that yes … yes I would check out this guys dating profile and give him some friendly advice. (No, you’re a good person!)

Within a few minutes of my reply he had sent me his dating profile for a good sticky beak and from what I could tell, he was a lovely chap. But good lord was he making some terrible faux pas.

First of all, the photos were all selfies, he wasn’t smiling in any of them, three-out-of-the-four were taken in his truck and in one of the photos he had a very questionable hair style.

So I gave him some friendly but firm advice.

1. Pop in a photo with friends, so it looks like you’re social and fun.

2. Smile, look friendly and approachable.

3. Stick with the neat haircut and beard, it looks very handsome.

4. Answer some questions in your profile so that there’s something to start a conversation about when you match with someone.

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Well bless his cotton socks, he took this single gal’s advice, and within a day he wrote back to inform me that he had made the changes and had three new matches and a Zoom date on Saturday night.

Not going to lie, I was absolutely chuffed for him!

It got me thinking, it’s not just blokes who are shocking at building a swipe-right-worthy dating profile. Nope, I will confess that I’ve given my photos a touch of filter or chosen a photo that I thought was ‘sultry’ over fun. Spoiler: It was not sultry. According to one male friend, I just looked like I had constipation. (Oh god, how many guys saw it?!)

So I decided to chat to an actual professional on my podcast this week and find out what makes a successful dating profile, or more specifically, how to avoid people swiping a solid left.

After a quick google I came across Logan Ury. She is the author of HOW TO NOT DIE ALONE (sorry but I really feel like that title deserves caps), a behavioural scientist, and the director of relationship science at Hinge.

So I figured she knows a thing or two, and that was an understatement. She went through some really, ‘Oh duh, why didn’t I think of that’ tips, but what I found most amusing was that from her research she discovered that over 70 per cent of people on the apps will instantly swipe left on a gym selfie.

And it’s not because we think that kind of picture is vain, nope! It’s because so many profiles have that exact same pic, we get bored of looking at it. You know the one, sweaty, buff and posed in front of the mirror.

In truth, we’re all actually looking for something about the person that stands out. A point of difference. So girls making duck faces at the camera, and blokes holding up dead fish just seems to make us snore.

We want to see interesting pictures that give a hint of some form of personality. Something that makes us want to get to know the person a little more. I matched with a guy last week just because he put a funny picture of himself falling off a bike in front of the Eiffel Tower.

It was a proper stack and looked hilarious. It showed he didn’t take himself too seriously and was a great conversation starter.

So following my podcast chat with Logan, I went through my own profile and added a photo of myself feeding a giant bull at my parents farm. Before you know it, I had four guys all commenting on that photo.

So give it a try. Find a picture of yourself doing something a little out of the ordinary and see what happens. I mean, it can’t hurt right?!

Jana Hocking is a podcaster and collector of kind-of-boyfriends | @jana_hocking

Type of photo that fails on a dating app

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